Hi everyone! Sorry I was off last week, I was on vacation visiting my BFF in South Florida soaking up some sun and breathed in some fresh salty beach air. While I was in Florida all I could think about was flamingos, pineapples and watermelon mojitos (Oh wait, that’s a whole different post, LOL). Now that I’m back I’m ready to celebrate my birthday with watermelon cake! This week’s post is a special three part series for my B-Day (today, Sunday – my actual birthday and Monday). I’m so excited to be making my first ever custom birthday cake (hehehe). I’ve never had a custom cake for myself so I thought since I was honing my cake skills I might as well put them to good use and bake myself a cake. I know you’re probably wondering if I’m having a big party or is there something special I need this fabulous celebration cake for and the answer is, NOPE. We don’t always need a reason to have a special cake, sometimes we just need to celebrate ourselves with style, grace and cake. This is the primary reason why when I start offering cakes my focus will be on small celebration cakes only. So let’s begin….
Today’s post we are going to bake our way through a vanilla cake recipe (courtesy of Yolanda Gamp/How to Cake it) as well as prepare our icing colors. This cake will be our bottom tier so I will be using the 6 lb recipe, found at the link above in our 6″ cake pans. Once the cakes have been made, baked and torted we are ready to begin assembling. This first tier cake we are doing will be filled with a mixed berry coulee as well as vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC).
Now in full disclosure this is my first time using this recipe but I’ve heard great reviews on it which is why I decided to give it a try. This cake baked up beautifully! It was tall, a little dense with a nice crumb and it sort of reminded me of a pound cake. I found that to be a really good thing since I’m a lover of sweets and not a fan sweet treats. With that being said I did alter the cake recipe a bit. I reduced the amount of sugar in the 6 lb version from 4 cups to 3 cups. However, I do believe I could have reduced the sugar further to 2 1/2 cup. When you are building something as important as a celebration cake you have to look at the cake as a whole, what goes in it, on it and around it. Since I was adding the sweet berry coulee to a cake that was less sweet it would create balance. I then paired that with the lighter less sugary sweet SMBC. We will break down SMBC recipes in a later post.
To the left are my layers of cake which have been torted so that I can add the berry coulee in between. To tort is a verb which means to trim or slice a cake into thinner even layers. In order to make my work space a bit more efficient I separate each layer with parchment paper to keep it crumb free and ready to use. With each layer you want to fill your layer with SMBC and then top with a light spread of the berry coulee. Keep filling and layering until you have four even layers of cake. Once that has been completed then you will put on your crumb coat, wrap and allow to chill for about 20 min. While you are waiting for your cake to chill this is a great time to prepare your icing colors. For this cake I used strawberry pink, soft pink and peach. A small of amount of color goes a long way, especially since this cake is meant to have a light dreamy feel to it.
Now that you have your colors ready you are going to apply your color in layers working your way from the bottom up. You can use your flat spatula as I did or you can you the large quick icer tip you might have. Once all your icing is on the cake smooth out with your spatula and clean up your edges around the bottom by running your spatula horizontal to the turn table and picking up the excess icing. Your finished cake will have a washed ombre affect after you add your black fondant seeds your cake will have a sweet watermelon look. Next up we will be working on the pineapple tier, CHOCOLATE cake with salted caramel cashew crunch.
Until next time, be sweet!